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Wearables at Sea
Cruise operator Carnival plans to unveil a wearable device that will allow passengers to seamlessly order and pay for goods and services while on board, open doors, tap into a gambling platform, and locate family members. The devices extend the functionality of wearables used by Disney and Royal Caribbean, the New York Times notes.
Medium is is laying off 50 employees—a third of its workforce—and closing its offices in New York and Washington, D.C., Recode reports. The publisher/publishing platform is backing away from an ad-supported business model and is looking for some other, as-yet non-specified way of generating revenue.
India Hopes Google Can Help with Cybersecurity
India is looking to Google to help the country with online threats as it continues to advance in the digital space. This cyber security effort comes roughly a month after the country saw several high profile Twitter hacks, Mashable reports.
Intel Invests in Digital Maps Provider
Intel purchased a 15% stake in Here, a provider of digital maps and location-based services. The acquisition will also include research and development into high-definition maps for connected and autonomous cars.
Chinese Search Engine Sogou Sets $5 billion IPO Goal
Chinese search engine Sogou on Wednesday said it planned to sell about 10% of its shares in an IPO to be held sometime in 2017, at a valuation of as much as $5 billion. Sogou is in third place behind market leader Baidu and runner-up Shenma in terms of mobile search query share, according to recent data from iiMedia. China's search market has seen a decline in advertising revenues following an incident in which paid medical search results were linked to the death of a college student seeking treatment for cancer in 2016.
Flying Cars by 2020?
An Israeli technology company, Urban Aeronautics, plans to have a flying car in the skies by 2020, Reuters reports. The car, called the Cormorant, reportedly made its first flight in November. It currently is able to carry around half a ton, can travel 115 miles an hour and costs $14 million. Although the flying car is intended for military purposes, it is similar in size to a family car.
Mattel's Personal Assistant for Kids
Mattel has introduced a personal assistant for kids similar to Amazon's Alexa, The Next Web reports. The assistant, named Aristotle, will tell children she is related to the Greek philosopher and perform tasks such as reading stories and playing games such as "name that animal noise."
Amazon Launches Pilot C2C Service in Bangalore
This week, Amazon India started offering a consumer-to-consumer ecommerce service on its website for users in the city of Bangalore. The new service will let consumers looking to buy or sell goods to connect with each other on its platform, with Amazon offering to manage packaging, pick-up, delivery and payments for users. The move puts Amazon into direct competition from similar services offered by platforms like Olx and eBay.
China's Bike-Sharing Service Mobike Raises $215 Million
Chinese bike-sharing service Mobike closed a D series round of funding with an additional $215 million in the bank, with Tencent Holdings and travel company Ctrip.com International among the companies investing in the service. Mobike’s service, which launched in Shanghai in August 2016, can now be found in nine cities in China. Bike-sharing services have been one of the few bright spots of the sharing economy in China, appealing to users in gridlocked urban areas seeking alternate modes of transportation.
—Rimma Kats, Rebecca Chadwick, Rahul Chadha
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